Is there enough romance in your relationship?
Would you describe your relationship as romantic?
If it feels like a bomb just went off in your gut, don’t panic. The vast majority of couples would say that their long-term relationship isn’t particularly romantic.
This month I’m sharing 13 specific, research-backed things that sexually satisfied couples do that unsatisfied ones don’t, plus suggestions for how you can incorporate each tip into your relationship. (Missed last week’s batch of tips? You can find them here!)
I’ve divided the 13 tips into categories, and our theme this week is romance. (Cue the Sade and draw the bubble bath!)
Sexual Satisfaction Secret #4: Say “I love you” every day and mean it
I will admit, when I first read this tip, I rolled my eyes a little. Saying “I love you”? Come on… couldn’t we get a little more creative than that?
But then I really read that second part… “and mean it.”
So often when we say, “I love you”, it’s a bit of a throwaway. It’s like a reflex. It doesn’t have a ton of meaning behind it.
Xander and I make sure to say “I love you” every night before bed, but I’m usually half asleep as he fumbles over to my side of our king-sized bed in the dark, trying to give me a good night peck. My “I love you” in that moment is basically the equivalent of, “OK, OK let me go to sleep now.”
You probably have those same kinds of moments in your relationship too.
So take the time to say “I love you” with some actual emotion behind it! Here are some ways you can do that:
- Get your partner’s full attention. Too often we say “I love you” as we’re rushing out the door or in the middle of an activity. Try to give them your full attention and get their full attention when you say “I love you.” Bask in that little moment together!
- Say “I love you” when you’re actually feeling it! We don’t feel wildly loving 100% of the time, and that’s OK. Try to catch yourself when you’re actually feeling loving, and share that sentiment with your partner. One of my favorite moments is when Xander says, “I’m really loving you right now.” It’s usually at the most random times, and he gets this big goofy look on his face. It’s adorable.
- Give a specific reason why you love your partner. Xander teases me for being obnoxious and always responding “Why?” when he says, “I love you”, but it’s just a way for me to pull a bit more detail out of him! It’s sweeter to hear, “I love how you always have my back”, or “I love seeing how generous you are with your friends.”
Sexual Satisfaction Secret #5: Give surprise romantic gifts
I know it’s tempting to see this tip as being materialistic or shallow, but it’s not about buying an expensive gift. It’s truly the thought that counts.
A small gift lets your partner know you were thinking about them and wanted to do something special for them.
Here are some romantic gifts you can give to your partner:
- A handwritten love note. (A gift doesn’t need to cost anything at all!)
- A framed picture of one of your favorite moments together.
- A gift certificate to a spa.
- Surprise them by doing the chores that are usually their responsibility.
- Items for a nice bath, like candles, bubble bath, bath soaks or scrubs, or even a nice robe.
- A sex toy that you can use together. (Add a little note that says, “Can’t wait to use this together later!”)
- A home-cooked meal (or takeout that you put on your nice dishes).
- A sex therapy session!
I absolutely love when Xander brings me flowers. I know it seems simple or even cheesy, but every time I look at a bouquet that he’s bought for me, it makes me feel so appreciated.
Sexual Satisfaction Secret #6: Have weekly dates
A few months ago, I was on the Rise Together podcast with Rachel and Dave Hollis. If you’ve ever listened to their podcast, you know that they’re fanatical about having a weekly date night, every single week. They claim that it’s one of the main reasons why their relationship has flourished.
This is an area that Xander and I slack a little bit on. Since we work together, we spend a LOT of time together. And we often make the mistake of thinking that quantity of time is just as good as quality of time. We could get better at purposefully scheduling date nights, and doing more interesting things on those dates.
If you’re ready to commit to a regular date night, here are a few guidelines:
- Try to do new things on your date nights! Going out to dinner is fun, but it gets predictable incredibly quickly.
- See if you want to make certain topics “off limits” during date night. You may want to pick stress-inducing topics like work.
- Take turns planning date nights. That way one of you gets to feel pampered and surprised.
Sexual Satisfaction Secret #7: Take romantic vacations
I know, I know, your head is immediately going to thoughts like, “But that’s so expensive” and “When would we ever find the time with our schedules?” and “What would we do with the kids?”
But you and your partner NEED to have quality alone time together, away from your usual routine.
Even one night alone together can bring you closer together, generate a ton of goodwill, create lasting memories, and reignite the spark.
If you’re struggling with the logistics, here are some ideas:
- Do a staycation in your hometown. Stay at a hotel or an inexpensive AirBnB.
- Do a kid swap with your friends. They’ll take your kids for a night, and you take theirs for a different night.
- Schedule your romantic getaway a year in advance if you need to, and spend a little time each month brainstorming different things you’ll do on your trip.
Early in our relationship, Xander and I figured out that we both love to travel, and that travel is one of the absolute best things we can do to feel close to each other. We don’t like a lot of material items, but we are willing to save our money for an incredible experience together. So far, we’ve been to 32 countries together!
Out of these four tips, which one do you want to work on?